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Thread: home wiring in 240 volt only countries

  1. #21
    PDW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    I was wondering in countries that use only 240 volts, without 120 volt service. Common household general service outlets use what size breakers? In the USA most outlets are 120 volt and either 15 or 20 amps. Any 240 outlets are often 30 or 50 amps but are used for bigger loads like stoves and water heaters. I realize the higher voltages allow more power in the same size wire or you could use smaller wire for the same loads. I doubt if European home vacumn cleaners are twice as powerful as USA models.
    Bill D.
    Modesto, ca USA
    Around here, with a 240V single phase supply, the consumer breakers are usually 10A for lights, 15A for domestic power points etc, 20A for a hot water service and 32A for an electric stove. Last 2 might be both 32A.

    Nutcases such as myself have more 20A & 32A circuits and breakers for running power tools. In fact I have 415V 3 phase supply but that's a different issue.

    PDW

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    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    Interesting information! Here in the USA the smallest breaker I have ever seen is 15 amps. Most home curcuits are 15amps 0r 20 amps 120 volt. 200 amps is pretty much minimum service. bigger Homes have 400 amp service at 240 volts.
    Bill D.
    Modesto, California, USA

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill D View Post
    Interesting information! Here in the USA the smallest breaker I have ever seen is 15 amps. Most home curcuits are 15amps 0r 20 amps 120 volt. 200 amps is pretty much minimum service. bigger Homes have 400 amp service at 240 volts.
    Bill D.
    Modesto, California, USA
    So ours is about double the capacity of yours except for the main service which is typically around 90A 240V. Might explain some of the questions I've seen from people in the USA about inadequate power supplies to run not all that big power tools.

    Incidentally absolutely none of ours allows a 'live' wall socket - every GPO (general purpose outlet) has an individual disconnect switch. All are 3 wire connections for a ground and all modern wiring codes insist on a RCD (earth leakage circuit breaker) as well. In my workshop I have red GPO's off of my 3 phase wiring to indicate that those outlets are not protected by a RCD, all the white ones are protected.

    PDW

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    Ive just wired and had my house build certified here in France.
    I have 16amp regular sockets wired in star, the lighting is on 10amp, my electric oven is on a 32amp spur with 6mm conductors, and If i wanted to I could have fitted 32amp high current sockets provided the section of the wiring running to them conformed to specs (6mm again). The whole house ventilator is on a 2amp spur. There are no fuses in the house at all, I have mcb's at the panel mounted on din rails, and the entire panel is covered by a earth leakage breaker for each rail row, two of type A and one AC (more sensitive to cover computer controlled stuff) and the overall install has a 3 phase elcb covering the entire install.

    We were checked and certified for 100a 220v monophase service and had to fit a mono meter cabinet enclosure to pass code before we could have power from the national grid, but there are no code specs for triphase in a domestic building, but I got to have a 3phase 400v service afterwards, so we have split the house into 3 areas and tried to keep the power factor reasonable and mitigate a cross phase shock occuring, and it means I have 400vac 3 phase service for my workshop at no extra charge, which just has some more 10mm section wires spur'd off the same board. The 3 phase meter didnt fit their enclosure, so they had to remove the mandated enclosure and fit the meter too high for the regs, to avoid the need for a ladder they fitted a radio transponder to it. Hey theyre not my regs, I dont care if they break them themselves.
    Interestingly their inspector failed my install the first time because I had resheathed some blue wire in black heatshrink from/to the light switches from the light, that they had to cut off with a knife to find. I had to re-pull black wires in the switches and pay another $240 for another code inspection. I wonder what they would have done if I hadn't have fitted the meter cabinet, or fitted it too high?
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    Bill D is offline Titanium
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    interesting that they failed you for blue wire. I was taught there were only three wire colors. white is neutral, only used for 120 volt. green or bare is ground. And all other colors are hot. Normally the hot wires are black or red sometimes blue in home construction.
    Of course switch wiring can get weird since both wires can be hot when the switch is on.
    Bill D.

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    Here I have 3 x 25 A - 400 V in the fuse box, but only 3 x 16 A - 400 V available in my outlets. Household outlets are 13A -230V.
    Suppose I have 100A in the tombstone, if I'll ever need it.
    Funny thing here, is that you are not allowed to do any electric work yourselves, other than changing existing not earthed 1 phase outlets. All other work has to be done by a certified electrician. Nuts..
    A family of 2 adults and 2 full time and 2 part time kids. Electrical bill around 2300$/year.

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    Here's my 200A, 36 space load panel. I put this in when I remodeled the house in 2007.

  8. #28
    digger doug is offline Titanium
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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Here's my 200A, 36 space load panel. I put this in when I remodeled the house in 2007.
    Some "McMansions" around here are running 400 amp services....I was told they run
    (2) of what you have there, right next to each other.

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    My install was checked by the electricians of the rural cooperative. They had just come from an installation with a 1,000 amp service in a new "house". If they've got the money, let them spend it. AFAIK, you still can't take it with you.
    JR
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    Frederick Harvie is offline Stainless
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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Some "McMansions" around here are running 400 amp services....I was told they run
    (2) of what you have there, right next to each other.
    twin 400 amp services are not uncommon on some houses being built around here. For a total of 800 amps overkill for general residential but some think they need it. I sure would not want to pay the power bill if they draw anywhere near capacity

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    adama is online now Diamond
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    Worth adding that a lot of uk regs are not simple black and white standards any more. Last few editions of the regs have seen a lot of changes in wire location and protection, wires ran in insulation often have to be a size or so larger. Also the earthing requirements have gone up a fair bit. Fuses are practically non existent these days everything here is MCB and also leakage protected. Legally you can still do your own stuff but have to have it passed by building control unless your qualified to the correct levels to self certify it.

    As to bills. Im electric heat pump (actually far cheaper for me here than the gas ever was!) for heat and with a good 1.9Kw solar setup i average just under 40 a month. Well damn near zero in the summer and then about 80 in the depths of winter is probably a better estimate! But living by the coast in a well insulated small house does keep temps a bit more stable. Yep the wind might be bad off the sea, but the temp is always noticeably a few degrees colder when i have to go inland. Then again a Few gazzilion gallons of north sea at the 7-10 or so degrees it is is one hell of a stabilising source to weather fluctuations.

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    Why would anyone need 800Amps at home ?

    Is Electric heating that common in America ?

    That would still be like some odd 400 Amps 230V singlephase.

    What the hell. That would be like dozens of outlets running at full capacity

  13. #33
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    Zonko,

    We have people on this side of the pond that don't know what to do with their money, so the build a huge house. How about a 1K m2, 3-bdrm house? Iowa is cheap for housing compared to where a lot of members live. I'd guess that the average price of a house in the state is less than $150K USD. This is on the high end: Most Expensive Homes in Iowa - Photos and Prices - Zillow
    JR
    BTW: I live out in the country on an unpaved road. I'm guessing that my house is about average for somebody here at 1,680 sq ft. (153 m2) 3 bdr, 2 bath. I could not afford to pay the taxes on any of those houses.

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    We have those too....allllright...i get it.
    Add the fact that no single average human needs more power than an American person.

    The only reason i can think off is wall mounted tankless heaters.
    Ours certainly has a big cable. But at 400V 3PH current takes a back seat at something like 3 x 32 or 3 x 64 Amps (almost 77 kVA).

    Our "civilian" outlets are all 16 A 230 V -> 3.6 kVA

    Then we have 16 A and 32 A @ 230/400V Star/Delta 3Ph.
    And there is also 64A 3Ph. Now that...is a lot of power.
    Our 3 Phase system is always star wired with a neutral and delta->star transformers at the substation to redistribute uneven load to a certain degree.
    I believe at least some parts of America have some sort of Delta Based system ?

    Some home appliances like tankless heaters and kitchen ovens are 3 Ph, but they never use an Outlet, they are hard wired instead. European 3 Ph Plugs SUCK. They are Huge.

    Fun fact: German Plugs are all nonsensical. The single phase ones are even worse. They are symmetric, so L/N have no defined position. Makes for very unsafe usage of Variacs and other non isolated equipment. You allways have to check.

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    Our electricity prices as converted to $US.

    US$0.278/kWh for domestic supply

    A daily fee of US$0.53 per electricity meter as a service fee..

    And we have enough coal to last hundreds of years...

    Of course if you have solar panels on the roof, and you feed electricity back into the grid, you do not get back US$0.278 for every kWh you feed back in... Oh no you get a lot more of that back.. It is subsidised to the hilt by the non-solar people..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonko View Post
    Why would anyone need 800Amps at home ?

    Is Electric heating that common in America ?

    That would still be like some odd 400 Amps 230V singlephase.

    What the hell. That would be like dozens of outlets running at full capacity
    Yes electric heat and also electric hot water heaters are common. but this in no way adds up to needing an 800 amp entrance in a normal home. I heat by oil so my elecrical usage is less but I would be surpriced if ever go over 50 percent usage on the 100 amp panel that I have in my house. I know that when my eltricity was down for two weeks due to a storm a few years back I used a 3000 watt generator and used al my normal appliances , with the exception of the clothes dryer , with out needing to think abot turning one of to use another

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonko View Post
    Fun fact: German Plugs are all nonsensical. The single phase ones are even worse. They are symmetric, so L/N have no defined position. Makes for very unsafe usage of Variacs and other non isolated equipment. You allways have to check.
    And the EARTHING contacts...... zowie.... do any of them ever work?

    For those who have not seen one, there are two little spring contacts on the receptacle.... and little plates on the plug, 180 deg from each other. Look VERY easy to damage so that they make no contact....

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    Quote Originally Posted by RC99 View Post
    Of course if you have solar panels on the roof, and you feed electricity back into the grid, you do not get back US$0.278 for every kWh you feed back in... Oh no you get a lot more of that back.. It is subsidised to the hilt by the non-solar people..
    Not in NSW or Tasmania, for new connections. Not any more....

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zonko View Post
    European 3 Ph Plugs SUCK. They are Huge.
    CEE plugs and sockets are size/price comparable to their NEC equivalents. Especially in that the prices SUCK. Maybe that is a contributing factor for hard wired installations?

    Fun fact: German Plugs are all nonsensical. The single phase ones are even worse. They are symmetric, so L/N have no defined position. Makes for very unsafe usage of Variacs and other non isolated equipment. You allways have to check.
    The Swiss have a unique phased socket/plug pairing that allows single phase plugs to be used with 3 phase sockets. Pin diameter selects for current capacity.





    source ==> Museum of Plugs and Sockets: Swiss 3-phase plugs and sockets

    neat pictorial website ==> Museum of Plugs and Sockets: Overview

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    And the EARTHING contacts...... zowie.... do any of them ever work?

    For those who have not seen one, there are two little spring contacts on the receptacle.... and little plates on the plug, 180 deg from each other. Look VERY easy to damage so that they make no contact....
    Not an issue, plug and socket are shaped in a way that damage is unlikely.
    There are shop monkey out there who can damage anything, naturally, but its no real issue.
    Never heard of Problems, never seen Problems.

    It is a perfectly safe and working system, it just is unelegant from an engineering perspective.

    @ jbc:
    Thank you !

    Thats a cool website !
    And a nice system of Plugs, not unlike the older German ones.
    These bloody IEC things would be better if one sawed off all hooks and the protective cover.
    Then you could actually plug it with one hand and without allmost ripping the socket outta the wall.
    If i ever have a home workshop with 3 phase - i swear - i will either fetch 1960s cast aluminum flat connectors or saw off every feature on the IECs......

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